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Giant snails spreading in Solomon Islands

07 June 2017

Posted in: Pacific Radio News,

Giant African snails are on the move in the Solomon Islands.

The snails are classified as an Invasive Alien Species, can grow up to 20 centimetres long and destroys crops. 

They first appeared in Honiara on Guadacanal in 2006, but it has now been confirmed they've spread to Malaita and Choiseul. 

Chief Biosecurity Officer, Crispus Fanai, says it's the result of people ignoring the warnings.

"Those who have ignored this have gone this far and have accidentally carried the snails to other islands." 

He says agricultural businesses in the Solomon Islands have to work twice as hard to protect their crops from the pests.

"Almost all the crops that they've planted have been eaten," he says. "They have to buy chemicals to apply to their crops otherwise they won't have anything to reap." 

Fanai says they receive just over $40,000 NZD from the government to eradicate the pests, but it isn't enough.

"It's only for three months a year and then the following months, we don't have the budget for an eradication programme." 

He says they are still investigating other provinces to see if the snails have reached them too.  

Tags: Solomon Islands, African snails, Crispus Fanai,